Using a dull knife makes you less efficient in the kitchen and can be dangerous. Dull knives tend to slip, meaning you’re more likely to cut yourself. Plus, it’s hard to cook food evenly when it’s been cut with a dull knife. Fortunately, you don’t have to replace dull knives. Instead, you can sharpen them. Follow these tips to sharpen your knives perfectly.
Tips for Using a Sharpening Steel
Your knife set likely included a metal rod, known as a sharpening steel. If the blade is slightly dull, you can use the sharpening steel to get it back into tip-top shape. Grab the handle of the sharpening steel and place the tip on the counter. Next, use your other hand to hold the knife. Point the knife’s tip upward just a bit and put the blade’s heel on the sharpening steel. Then, position the knife so the blade is at a 15-degree angle. Apply light pressure and maintain the 15-degree angle with the blade angling away from the sharpening steel. Use a sweeping motion to slide the blade down the steel. As you do this, pull the knife toward you. Continue the sweeping motion until the tip passes over the bottom of the sharpening steel. Repeat this process four to five times.
Tips for Using an Electric Knife Sharpener
You can use an electric knife sharpener if your knife is too dull for a sharpening steel. Read the manufacturer’s instructions before you use the electric knife sharpener. Most sharpeners require you to press the knife down on the sharpening tool lightly. Then, you’ll slowly pull the blade through the slots. Don’t forget to change sides so the device can sharpen both sides. You might need to repeat this process 20 or so times to get the desired results.
Keep in mind that you cannot use an electric knife sharpener on knives with a full bolster. However, this is a nice option for all other knives.
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Tips for Using a Whetstone
If you want to sharpen your knife like a chef, consider using a whetstone. It does take some practice to become comfortable sharpening knives with a whetstone, but it can handle any job. It can even sharpen knives with a full bolster.
You’ll need to secure the whetstone in place on your countertop so it cannot move. Then, hold the knife with the blade facing away from you. Place the handle end of the knife on the whetstone, as it needs to be sitting at the same angle as the blade. Then use your other hand to press down on the middle of the blade’s flat side. Go in a wide, circular motion as you move the blade down the stone. Maintain the angle until the knife goes off the edge of the whetstone. You’ll need to repeat this until you reach the desired sharpness. Next, flip the knife over and repeat.
These tips will help you keep your knives sharp and functional, and you won’t have to shell out money for a new set of knives.